A professor at Georgetown University came up with some helpful tips for delivering bad news to people: Always treat people with respect; don’t surprise or hide or delay the bad news; explain the reason for it, and bring with it a solution. Leave people with hope; record the event for future reference; and keep people updated on any progress. Jeremiah followed most of these rules as he delivered bad news to his people. Still, they rejected and hated him after he delivered God’s solemn message: the nation was about to go into captivity for breaking God’s covenant—a covenant they had promised to keep. Jeremiah became so dejected at the way people treated him for giving them bad news that he complained to God. Even though he was God’s prophet, he was hurt by the people’s response. He questioned why people hated him so, why they persecuted him so, and why it seemed God was letting them get away with it. God replied to Jeremiah by assuring him that despite the people’s rejection, his word would come true. God told Jeremiah to stop doubting God’s wisdom, to submit himself to God, and to keep on delivering God’s message. God said when his word came to pass, they would know God had sent him. In our day, we may have to deliver a counter cultural message to an unfriendly world. God calls us to do it faithfully—but with love, and leave the outcome to Him.
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